1st August 1830
My Dear Mr F.
Mr Rogers’s <1> sermons I am sorry to say do not improve, except in length. Here is a specimen of his sentences, which have no meaning. Speaking of some great sinner recorded in the Bible, he says, You my Brethren I hope are not so far gone in sin, nevertheless you are in your degree as proud & cruel & unbelieving as ever he was – The service in the Evening lasts an hour & three quarters, after the sermon the congregation take to singing hymns, but I walked away this evening which I am afraid scandalized them. Mr R– intends his sermons to last an hour, but today he found his matter fall short, so he said, I hope my brethren you will not think me tiresome if I recapitulate what I have said, & then repeated a good deal of it over again –
Today we had a meeting of the Charitable Society, & entered into a subscription –
Strong <2> has been here, & says all is going on as well as it can. –
Yesterday I dined at Bowood <3> & walked home by Moonlight. I met there Moore & the members for Calne; <4> who were returned by the officer, but their opponents had the majority of votes & will petition.
Moore goes to Ireland in a fortnight.
Capt Feilding R.N.
31 Sackville Street
1. Robert Rogers, Curate at Lacock.
2. Strong's identity has yet to be established. However, Awdry met Mr. Strong at Box [see Doc. No: 02006], the Wiltshire hamlet whose quarry originally provided Lacock Abbey with its stone. It is possible that Strong was there temporarily to select stone for the renovations at Lacock Abbey, but given the expansion of the area in the 19th c., perhaps Strong was resident there. The 1841 census for Box (the earliest one available) points to two possibilities. The first, James Strong (b. 1796), was a mason, but the Lacock mason, Charles Selman Banks (1805-1881) did most of the masonry at Lacock at this time. Thomas Strong (b. 1781) was a builder, and seems the more likely candidate.
3. Bowood House, nr Calne, Wiltshire, 5 mi NE of Lacock: seat of the Marquess of Lansdowne.
4. Probably Thomas Moore (possibly d. 1854), member of the Lacock Parish Vestry. Calne, Wiltshire, 5 mi NE of Lacock.